Last night, April and I attended the District Policy Committee with our Circuit Stewards. This meeting was for all ministers whose current appointment ends 31 August 2011. We gathered to hear the information on Stationing, as the process for moving the itinerant ministers is called here.
Ministers in the British Connexion are appointed initially to 5 years to a circuit (not to churches). As I am at the end of the fourth year of my appointment to the Blackburn Circuit and April, Savannah and I have committed to further time in the UK, the time has come for me to enter the Invitations portion of Stationing.
The first question each of us must answer is, is God calling me to stay in the current appointment? The answer determines the next course. If yes, then how much longer? Then the process goes to the circuit invitations committee with them doing the required work of discerning what’s best for the circuit. That leads to a circuit meeting that will make the final decision (with some differences this year).
If no, then the minister completes the profile for her/himself and submits it to the district. The district chair meets with the minister, who has been looking at the profiles of circuits from around the country that have vacancies. The district chair and the minister look for a match which is taken to the connexional stationing meeting where all the matches are made. Then, in November, the minister hears back and arrangements are made to visit the circuit to see ‘in the flesh’, so to speak, whether there is good feeling for match.
That all sounds awfully robotic and simplified. Yet, I have to say that from where I sit the process looks awfully daunting. I don’t normally put myself into situations where I am judged and scrutinised like this. Much like Harry Potter worried about in The Philosopher’s Stone, what if I wear the sorting hat and it doesn’t put me anywhere, telling me there must have been a mistake! It will be a stressful time for us, but one I am also looking forward to exploring.
Unfortunately, I can’t say much more than this right now. My churches will need to know the answer to my first question before I say anything to the world on my blog! I do ask for your prayers for us as we make some decisions over the the next few days, weeks, and months.